Sports Direct has shuttered four out of nine of its concessions in Debenhams stores, two of which are in the department store’s Oxford Street flagship.

The sportswear retailer, which posted a 59% slump in pre-tax profits in July, has unveiled its Debenhams concession closures as it pursues its strategy to become “The Selfridges of sport.”

A spokesman for the retailer said: “The closures came as a direct result of overlap with locations for future or current flagship stores. We remain committed to developing our relationship with Debenhams.”

Following its full-year results Sports Direct founder and Debenhams stakeholder Mike Ashley said the sportswear business was overhauling its existing store estate with a keen focus on fewer, better shops.

The retailer ploughed £317m into freehold store acquisitions during its last financial year and plans to open between 12 and 18 UK stores in the year ahead, half of which will be flagships.

In August, the retailer tycoon increased his stake in Debenhams to 21.04%, nearly half of which is held directly in shares for the first time.